U20 team set for bubble training camp in Nairobi

Monday, May 24th, 2021 00:00 |
Athletes compete in girls 1,500m during the AK Central Rift World Under-20 Championships pre-trials at Eliud Kipchoge Sports Complex in Kapsabet on Saturday. Photo/PD/AMOS ABUGA

Kenya plans to set up a specialised training bubble camp for field athletes and sprinters ahead of the World Under-20 Championships slated for August in Nairobi.

Athletics Kenya has disclosed the camp should start as early as next week with the aim of having a formidable all round team for the global event.

Barnaba Korir, director of Athletics Kenya Youth Development, says discussions have been done with the Nairobi Local Organising Committee for the camp to start in earnest at Kasarani.

Besides the field events, Korir said the country has capable athletes from 400m all the way to the long distance races.

Javelin, discuss and  hammer throw are some of the field events athletes AK is targeting to send  to camp for training.

“We are currently conducting pre-trials to see the athletes who have shown potential to meet the prerequisite distance. We shall focus mainly on field events and sprinters,” Korir revealed.

Monitoring the performance of those who have done well  and those with potential in the ongoing pre-trials is something AK is keen on.

“What we want to check now is those who have done well here, are they in school? If they are in school then we have to monitor them, give them the implements to train in their schools with their coaches.

Those who are not in school and still meet the age category requirement, we will take them to Nairobi as soon as next week because I have already discussed with the LOC and the stadium management that we put them somewhere they train from,” he revealed.

Stung by effects of the coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the sports industry, AK and specifically the Youth docket is leaving  nothing to chance  as they target to have a team capable of defending the title the country won three years ago in Tampere, Finland.

“Unlike before we are not going to have 21 sponsored camps across the country but we continue to have programmes with coaches in different parts of the country who will be able to guide the athletes before the championships,” he added.

Last year the federation conducted a two-day preliminary trial in Nairobi to analyse and assess the level of fitness for its upcoming runners, statistics Korir says have been key even as different regions conduct their own pre trials.

“At the end of the day we are looking to have all the regions conducting their pre trials before June 12.

This will then set stage for the national trials in early July. The biggest reason for pre-trials is that we can only get to select the right athletes who we can effectively work with than having a large pool of athletes some of whom might not meet the standards,” he challenged 

Following the postponement of the championships last year, the championships were scheduled for August 17-22 meaning that most of the runners who had prepared for the global showpiece were barred from competing after surpassing the age limit.

The championships are contested by athletes of age 19 years or younger by December 3, the year of the competition.

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